The Widjiwats came for Kick at ten pm. He was leaning against the counter in his kitchen, drinking a beer and waiting for a hot dog to heat up in the microwave. Kick glanced at the digital display on the front of the microwave, which read 0:24. Then movement caught his eye, and glancing down, he saw Ilvie step out from behind the toaster. He was dressed sharply in a trim black outfit with a broad belt and a pair of brown boots. Running diagonally across his torso was a single yellow stripe which stood out in sharp contrast against his black jacket. A bowl-shaped fur hat with a broad sweeping plume gracefully arching from it was set at a rakish angle above his all-knowing eyes. Following Ilvie out from behind the toaster came five more Widjiwats, each dressed identically in brown leather with black boots and belts. Across their chests ran two broad red stripes. Each carried a knife at his side as well as a long spear tipped with something shiny which glinted in the light. They all wore the same style hat that Ilvie wore, and altogether they gave Kick the impression of soldiers.
“Hurry up and eat your hot dog Kick, we’ve got a lot to do tonight,” said Ilvie.
Kick opened the microwave and removed the hot dog. He ate it in three bites without bun or condiments. After fortifying himself with the rest of his beer, Kick nodded toward the five other Widjiwats and asked, “Who are they?”
“These are Rolfish, Kodd, Beanid, Foxen and Foxen.” Said Ilvie. “Same name, sorry if that’s confusing. They are your minders. Jarudet has decided that they will be coming to live with you here at the shop, and assist you with the execution of your assignments.”
“Jarudet is our King. I have brought him up to speed on everything, and it was his decision to send them. He also wanted me to tell you that it is our intention to compensate you for your work. Even though we have the ability to force your cooperation, Jarudet feels that you will be a more enthusiastic partner if there is something in it for you.”
“Thanks for helping me out with the search warrant the other day.” Said Kick.
“Well, you’re no good to us in prison, are you? We have decided that you will not be able to take or sell any illegal drugs as long as you are engaged in helping us. A document is being drafted even now, which will spell out all of our expectations for you, but more on that another time. A very pressing matter has arisen which requires our immediate attention.”
Kick was peeved and wanted to argue about not being able to smoke dope, but something in Ilvie’s demeanor told him that this was not the time. “What is it?” asked Kick.
“We need you to shoot an owl and steal something from Jill Lassiter,” answered Ilvie.
“The bird lady?” asked Kick in disbelief. “I can’t. I mean I have a restraining order. That means I can’t have guns. I could get arrested.”
“Those concerns are secondary, Kick. Mrs. Lassiter has made a very important discovery in an owl pellet, and we don’t have sufficient leverage to blackmail her as we did you.”
“She’s a lesbian.” Said Kick. “Maybe you could blackmail her with that.”
“Actually she’s not a lesbian, Kick. That’s just a nasty rumor that Mark Massey started because she wouldn’t let him hunt on her property,” said Ilvie.
"Why don’t you kill her?” asked Kick. “…Like you threatened to kill me.”
“We will if this doesn’t work. So, unless you want more blood on your hands I suggest you do exactly what you’re told,” said the little man whom Ilvie had identified as Rolfish. He spoke in an accent so thick and rough that his words were barely recognizable as English.
Ilvie shot Rolfish a look and he fell silent. Then turning to Kick Ilvie continued, “She doesn’t know exactly what she has found yet, but they are human remains. Widjiwat remains to be exact. The bones are currently in a small wooden box on her kitchen counter. You will park your truck on the Springs Road, and walk through the woods to her house. Mrs. Lassiter is sleeping so all you have to do is kick in her front door retrieve the box, and as you exit the house take her rifle out of the closet immediately to the left of the front door. Foxen will tell you what to do then.”
"Yes, Foxen," said Ilvie.
“What if she sees me?” said Kick. “...and why do I need to take her gun? I mean, you did say I was no good to you in prison, right? I didn’t sign on for this, man!”
“You will do as you are told or we will turn you in for Karen.” said Ilvie. “You'll need the gun so the bird lady can't shoot you while you're running away from her house, and you will need it to shoot the owl as well. Now lean down here so Foxen and Foxen can climb into your breast pocket. You’ve got some work to do.”
TO BE CONTINUED…